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Welcome to Colby University, where the wealthy and powerful rule. Into this world steps Alicia, a girl of modest means who dreams of becoming a lawyer. When she meets the beautiful, popular Hadley, Alicia quickly becomes a member of an elite clique. But she's about to learn the hard way that her new friends walk a dangerous line. A seductive thriller in the tradition of Cruel Intentions and Wild Things, New Best Friend will have you guessing until the shocking final scenes.
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A breath of fresh air in a stale genre, Zoe Clarke-Williams's canny look at the catty world of college cliques is the smartest dissection of the complex world of class envy, social acceptance, and the seduction of privilege since Heathers. But this drama plays it for tragedy. Local working-class girl Mia Kirshner is transformed from social outcast to campus Cinderella and adopted into the hedonistic party world of a trio of rich fun-loving sorority princesses (Meredith Monroe, Dominique Swain, and Rachel True), and comes out the other end in a drug-induced coma. Confidently directed and elegantly constructed in puzzle-piece flashbacks, this sensitive, sympathetic, smartly made drama is refreshingly free of glib moralizing, the rare young-adult film that twists the usual clichés and leaves its audience with more questions than answers. The DVD also features an audio commentary track by director Zoe Clarke-Williams. --Sean Axmaker
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